Citing security concerns, Trump bans China Mobile in US

Headquarter of China Mobile in Beijing financial street

Trump moves to block China Mobile from US market

Meanwhile, China Mobile has been blocked by the United States' National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) from obtaining a license to sell mobile services in America.

But the US Department of Commerce has recommended the licence request be denied. "The extreme delay in granting the application is causing significant and unwarranted harm to China Mobile USA's business operations", the company said in its letter to the FCC at the time.

Though hardly as threatening as the USA measures against telecom equipment maker ZTE - China Mobile generates virtually all of its revenue at home - the move comes as the US'/99 is set to impose tariffs on $34bn of Chinese goods on Friday, with China vowing to retaliate in kind.

China Mobile is the world's largest mobile phone operator by customers, with about 899 million subscribers.

"In the current national security environment, it is the view of the Executive Branch, after consultation with the U.S. intelligence community, and after consideration of additional information submitted by the applicant, that China Mobile's application does not serve the public interest", the NTIA noted in its lengthy report on the topic.

CHINA MOBILE is the latest big player to fall foul of the Trump administration, with reports that it could be banned from the U.S. for the same non-specific espionage reasons.

The news comes in the middle of growing tensions between the United States and China, following a supplier ban placed on its global telecoms vendor ZTE in April.

The NTIA told the FCC it is concerned about the amount of control the Chinese government has over the firm, USA law enforcement's ability to ask for information in the course of its duties and the potential of intentional disruption of other telecommunications networks the interconnection could bring. Customers could include fixed and mobile network operators, calling-card companies, and business customers.

In March 2013, the company repeated its request after a New York State Assemblyman, Anthony Brindisi, urged the FCC to reject the application on grounds of national security.

Another Chinese firm that has been caught in the crosshairs of the trade spat is ZTE. He warned that US government agency worldwide telecom traffic could be routed through China Mobile's network even if those agencies aren't its customers because of FCC interconnection rules.

China Mobile applied for what is known as a Section 214 license back in 2011.

Since it's 72.72% owned by the Chinese government, China Mobile is "subject to exploitation, influence and control by the Chinese Government", the agency said.

Those companies are not Chinese state-owned, but are alleged to have close ties with the Chinese government.

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